Cranberry Pear Salad with Fresh Pear Vinaigrette
Cranberry Pear Salad with Fresh Pear Vinaigrette is crisp romaine lettuce tossed with sliced pear, dried cranberries, feta cheese, and toasted almonds in a fresh pear vinaigrette. This salad is a family favorite for a reason — it’s absolutely addicting!
Do you have that special salad that you turn to time and time again for entertaining, holidays, and what not because people just flip out over it? And when I mean flip out, I mean they request that salad and if they don’t get it, you may not be forgiven? I’m being a bit extreme, but this salad is and has been that salad for my family for a good 15 solid years. The funny thing is, it was the first recipe I posted here two years ago because I couldn’t think of a better way to start things off. Ignore the pretty lame photo and lack of writing pleeeeaaasse.
This salad has a history. I first tasted one similar to this at my old roommate’s birthday party, and it blew me and everyone else away. It was when the fruit-nut-cheese salad thing was taking off big time, for me anyway, and I asked what on earth was in that salad that made it so special. I found out and came up with my own recipe based on those ingredients, but the original salad is made with Paul Newman’s Caesar dressing, which is in the recipe for my first post. If you want to keep it simple, you sure can use the bottled stuff, but to make this salad my own..instead of Newman’s Own (pun intended), I worked hard to make a homemade dressing that did this salad justice.
This was a big deal to me, because it couldn’t be just any old dressing. This salad shows up on the Thanksgiving table, as well as Christmas and sometimes Easter. Birthdays, family dinners, whatever…this salad is tradition. I tried it with homemade Caesar dressing….nope. I tried it with a few other variations and it wasn’t the same. This week, I tried making a vinaigrette out of fresh pear, and I knew immediately that this dressing was it.
This dressing tastes even better than it looks, and you may just want to grab a straw and drink it. I refuse to admit if I did that or not. 😉
If there’s one salad that you want to serve for Thanksgiving, this is it! And then make it any other time that you want a special salad. It’s amazing. Sweet, juicy pears, tangy dried cranberries, salty feta, toasty almonds, and crisp romaine tossed in a flavorful fresh pear vinaigrette? You want this…I promise….and don’t be surprised if it becomes an instant tradition for your family, too. 🙂
- 1 cup peeled and cored fresh pear, diced (about 1 large pear)
- ¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 6 ounce container of chopped Romaine (or two hearts of Romaine cleaned and chopped)
- One large ripe Bartlett pear, cored and sliced into 1" pieces
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
- ⅓ cup dried cranberries
- ¼ cup chopped or slivered almonds, toasted*
- Place the pear chunks, vinegar, dijon, lemon juice, and maple syrup in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. With the machine running, add the olive oil in a steady stream through the feed chute until emulsified. Add the salt and pepper, to taste and mix once more.
- Place the romaine, sliced pear, dried cranberries, feta and toasted almonds. Add the desired amount of dressing and toss gently to coat. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Dressing can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator in an air tight container.
Recipe by Flavor the Moments.
And now, on to some really fun stuff. We’re talking $500 of fun. 🙂
My friends Lisa @ Cooking with Curls and Cindy @ Little Miss Celebration are celebrating their 2 year blog anniversaries! Lisa and Cindy host The Best of the Weekend link party every Friday evening at 8:00 EST, which I’ve been linking up to for a long while. They are such wonderful, generous bloggers, and I’m so glad I’ve gotten to know them! 🙂
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